‘Party will remain united’

Union Defence Minister and Congress Working Committee member A.K. Antony has said that there is no unsolvable crisis in the State unit of the party.

Mr. Antony told reporters at the guest house here on Friday that the Congress party had a tradition of standing united in times of need, foregoing all differences. Congress leaders in Kerala, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala, had solved even more complicated issues without any outside help. The leaders here are efficient enough to resolve any issues they confront. The Congress is a national party and if a problem remains undecided here, other measures would be effected to solve it.

Exuding confidence that the Kerala leaders of the party will take the initiative to solve the current issue, Mr. Antony said that none should hope for an ‘explosion’ within the party. None should think of exploiting the internal squabble in the Congress, reminding all that those who attempt to do so would be trying in vain and disappointing themselves.

Earlier, Mr. Antony held a meeting with Minister for Rural Development K.C. Joseph, Congress leader M.M. Hassan, K. Sudhakaran, MP, and MLAs A.P. Abdullakutty and Sunny Joseph at the guest house.

Communication gap

Our Special Correspondent writes: Minister for Rural Development K.C. Joseph said here on Friday that the row over the issue of ministerial berth for Mr. Chennithala was the outcome of a ‘communication gap’ in the leadership.

Speaking at a Meet-the-Press programme, the Minister said though the controversy over the proposed inclusion of Mr. Chennithala in the Oommen Chandy Cabinet should have been averted, it was just “a storm in a tea cup” as both the Chief Minister and the KPCC chief had the political maturity to resolve the differences. “There was some communication gap,” he said in reply to a question. Mr. Joseph said the wafer-thin majority of the UDF government in the Assembly was no longer an issue.